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A day in the life
Sally1953
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019 8:21 PM
Joined: 6/18/2019
Posts: 20


Today for the first time, I tried to keep a record of our day. I’d really be interested to compare with others. These are just the highlights:

1. Trying not to ‘hover’ as I feel I usually do, I watch my husband go to the kitchen after he’s had his cereal and toast. He tells me he’s got a problem and I follow him back to the kitchen. The microwave is going, set at 2 more minutes. I open it and he is reheating a glass, not a cup, of coffee. It has poured over the edge of the glass and coffee has leaked all over the microwave

2. He goes to get dressed and comes out with jeans on over a pair of shorts and 3 shirts.

3.He’s out in the back yard and I walk out to check on him. He’s putting car wax on a towel and cleaning the patio table.                                                                           

4. At lunch, he starts ‘dipping’ his chips into his tea.

5.  I ask him to fold some towels and each one is folded in a really unusual way, none alike.

6. We get ready to walk our dog and he starts putting the plastic poop bag around her neck instead of her collar.

7. He goes to the bathroom to get ready for bed and I walk in as he’s ‘brushing’ his teeth with the tube of toothpaste. I hand him his floss stick and he starts ‘shaving’ with it. 

These are just a few of the things that came to mind. I feel at times that whatever he tries to do, the way he does it is so much harder than it has to be. At the end of the day, I sometimes wonder what I’ve actually accomplished, with redoing and fixing some of the things he’s done. I hate sounding so negative, but some days are just harder than others. As I look back at my list, these things really seem pretty trivial, but still so odd. Can anyone else share?

 

 


Ed1937
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019 8:54 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 1430


We aren't that advanced yet, but I'll add my two cents. This type of behavior is to be expected. His brain is not working correctly, therefore he needs help with many things. Don't expect him to do things he can't do correctly. That makes it harder for you. You said "I feel at times that whatever he tries to do, the way he does it is so much harder than it has to be." These simple things ARE that hard for him. Yes, it's a very hard day. Breathe deeply, then let it out. Repeat several times. Sorry you're going through this.
Beachfan
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019 9:22 PM
Joined: 2/1/2018
Posts: 324


Sally1953 wrote:

These are just a few of the things that came to mind. I feel at times that whatever he tries to do, the way he does it is so much harder than it has to be. At the end of the day, I sometimes wonder what I’ve actually accomplished, with redoing and fixing some of the things he’s done. I hate sounding so negative, but some days are just harder than others. 

  

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This is precisely why, at this stage, I “do” just about everything for my DH.  I became tired of watching  him puzzle and struggle with the simplest of activities (taking off socks, brushing teeth, hair, opening a car door, managing certain utensils, completing a toileting routine, you name it!)  Many well meaning family members and friends made suggestions, offered advice, and produced gadgets to help him maintain independence.  He had LOST his independence; he was frustrated, short tempered; I was frustrated, short tempered.  Instead of “redoing and fixing” some of the things he’s done, I just DO them for him, or physically assist him.  If I am squelching what little independence he may have left, so be it.  My days are easier this way.  Just my perspective. 

 

 



LadyTexan
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019 10:23 PM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 188


Greetings Sally. I often get frustrated at the odd things my DH does. Recently he seems to be constantly running the dishwasher. Interestingly, when I grab a coffee cup out of the cabinet, its usually dirty.

I think Ed nailed it when he said "These simple things are that hard for him". 

I don't get frustrated as frequently as I used to. I have to remind myself that DH is very sick. There is no malice on his part. He has a horrible disease. If DH could perform simple tasks correctly, he would.

What has been helping me lately is pausing and taking several deep breathes. Instead of reflecting on all that DH and I have lost (his livelihood, our retirement plans, our savings), I make myself reflect on what I have to be grateful for. I challenge myself to come up with five things I am grateful for. For example, I am grateful because:

 

  • Today my husband is safe. 
  • Now DH is sleeping and I have some alone time. 
  • We have a roof over our head. 
  • I have an internet connection that allows me to connect with the caregiver heroes, like you, on this forum.
  • I am not alone.
What I've noticed is, as my gratitude grows, my frustration wanes.  
 
Be good to yourself Sally. There is NOTHING easy about this. You are not alone. I am rooting for you.

Take care,

-LT

 

 


MimiT
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:50 AM
Joined: 4/26/2019
Posts: 55


LadyTexan, I love your attitude of gratitude! This helped me and I pray that I can keep that in mind daily! God bless each of you on this journey!
Doityourselfer
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:27 AM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 325


Compared to a year ago, my husband is much more confused.  He needs assistance with sitting in chairs because his depth perception is way off.  He has really slowed down his walking pace.  We don't take daily walks like we use to.  This morning he went in our above ground pool while I mowed the lawn.  It kind of reminded me of putting a child in a playpen.  I could keep my eye on him while I completed a chore.

 Like Beachfan, I do almost everything for him because he doesn't know how. He can still brush his teeth but I add the toothpaste and place his toothbrush in his hand. Same with the cordless shaver. He can still feed himself.  That's about all he can do.


jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:43 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17192


All expected behavior...bet you do not want to hear that again.

So.....unplug the microwave if t is not built in.......forget the flossing and toothpaste is really not the important part of brushing.....leave the collar on the dog...applaud the creative folding....let him wear all the clothes he wants...ignore the tea dipped potato chips and any other odd food combinations. In other words let it go as  much as possible because more "stuff" is coming down the pike.

It will be OK...you will be OK.


Rescue mom
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:58 AM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 909


Sally, our days sound similar. I know it’s the disease. I know things must be difficult for him—although my DH gives no sign of distress whatsoever. He seems perfectly content to do nothing, or whatever odd thing occurs to him—if it doesn’t work out, he’ll just stop, walk away and leave it. I’m here to clean it up, fix it, get him to the next appointment, make sure he’s fed and reasonably clean, or at least not smelly. Etc. Etc. Etc. 

But like Sally said, we caregivers do everything for two, and most of it is not enjoyable. He can do very little, except toilet (for which I am, seriously, grateful. It’s kind of amazing, given how much else he’s lost) and eat if it’s given to him. Yes, we try to do things together, but he usually loses interest very quickly. (Maybe I’m just boring him, too )

 It’s just exhausting doing everything for two people, and constantly being on guard that he can’t hurt himself, or destroy or lose anything important. 

I was reminiscing with others about past vacations, and about some places we’d all planned to go, except Alzheimer’s. Now people tell you to take joy in your bird feeder—in between cleaning up DHs food mess, searching for the dog he let out, and trying to find the shoes he just had on. Sorry, but bird feeder isn’t working for me yet. I’ll work on that, too. After I schedule the additional medical work I need related to stress.

It’s the dog days for sure, this month has been particularly hard.


Keep It 100
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 2:49 PM
Joined: 2/26/2017
Posts: 387


Oh my, I relate to ALL of this. 

A recent one that caught me off guard was telling him (stage 6) to take a shower (he won't do it independently, but if I tell him to do it he still sometimes can, but more often now needs help) and heard the bath water running...turns out he turned on the tub water then stepped into a dry shower. He has a sense of humor, and we can still laugh at the "silliness." 

As RescueMom said "It’s just exhausting doing everything for two people, and constantly being on guard that he can’t hurt himself, or destroy or lose anything important. "   Understatement of the week!  

We just came back from vacation, out of the country, and I could not have handled the air travel/transfer through customs in ATL without my son's help. We fly again on Friday (domestic, non-stop) and I fear this is the last time I take him via plane. 


Rescue mom
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 1:46 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 909


Keepit100, if you don’t mind, I’d love to hear how your direct nonstop flight goes.

I swore I’d not travel with DH again. Although he is docile at home, the hubbub of transfers etc. were so bad,for him...much like I imagine your experience in ATL.  I said I would not, but the travel itch is so bad. That was what we did, pre-AD. 

OTOH, what would we do, or how would he be, when we got there? I do not think I can handle everything for both of us. Then I think it may not be so bad again.... But still like to hear how yours goes.


Keep It 100
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 3:43 PM
Joined: 2/26/2017
Posts: 387


Will do, Rescue mom! The whole idea of this upcoming trip is for some really good rest and relaxation. We shall see...
elruth
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 12:35 AM
Joined: 12/17/2016
Posts: 111


I found it is helpful for me to lay out his clothes that he is to wear for the day and he doesn't have to make the decision re: what to wear.